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The best travel tour companies for your gap year

This is it. You’ve waved your last goodbye to compulsory education, and you’re ready to embark upon your long-awaited, much-anticipated gap year! Whether you want to spend it in the comfort of your homeland or you’re looking to venture abroad, there’s a multitude of amazing travel tour companies out there just waiting to guide you along what will hopefully become one of the best years of your life. The question is… which company do you choose?

Ultimately, the most important factors this comes down to are:

  • Where you want to go
  • What you want to do when you get there
  • How much you’ve got in your budget

We’ve spent some time picking out some of the most reputable tour travel companies in the business for a variety of gap year dreams, and ways to make extra money to fund it!

To work

  1. Best Gap Year

Location: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, South America, UK

From activity instructors to chefs, teaching internships to Au Pair-ing and even ski resort hospitality, Best Gap Year has a plethora of working gap year opportunities on offer, ranging from ten weeks to several months.

      2. Australia Working Holiday

Location: Australia

Australia Inc. offers fantastic ways of making extra money during your gap year, and promises to help you develop essential career skills such as team building, working under pressure and relationship building – on top of getting to explore some of the most amazing places on earth, of course!

      3. BUNAC

Location: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan  

Experiencing totally new cultures whilst having an unforgettable experience with lots of new friends sits right at the heart of BUNAC’s work experience opportunities. If it’s a high wage or high waves your searching for, delicious foods and stunning beaches, or something equally exotic, read on! 

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To volunteer

  1. Pacific Discovery

Location: Central America, South America, Nepal & Tibet, Southeast Asia, New Zealand & Australia

Based on the concept of experiential education, Pacific Discovery’s volunteering programmes are designed to challenge, broaden horizons, and merge cultural insights and environmental sensitivity with fun and adventure. 

2. Frontier

Location: … Well, where not?

“You dream it and we will make it happen” – quite the promise, but as goabroad.com’s Top Volunteer Abroad Organization 2016, Frontier’s marine conservation, environmental science efforts, and medical endeavours do truly bring a whole new meaning to volunteering abroad.

        3. International Volunteer HQ

 Location: All over the globe!

As the world’s most trusted and experienced volunteer travel provider, IVHQ is definitely worth a look-in. With projects ranging from teaching and childcare to arts and music, women’s empowerment and special needs care, there’s something on offer for everyone. What’s more, they’re super budget-conscious!

For adventure

  1. Intrepid Travel

Location: Pretty much everywhere!

If you consider yourself an especially adventurous individual, Intrepid Travel has your name on it. Activities range from cycling to sailing, walking and trekking and much more, with the goal of building human connections, supporting local communities, respecting the environment and drawing everyone just that bit closer together.

       2. Trek America

Location: USA, Canada, Alaska and Central America.

If exploring America is your dream, Trek America has over 50 incredible gap year tours to choose from, ranging from 3-75 days. These guys know where all the great and unusual sites and activities are and how to give you an outstanding gap year travel experience in America that’s really fun – and fair on your budget!

       3. Exodus Travels

Location: Again pretty much everywhere, but their top destinations include Italy, Nepal, France, Africa, and Peru.

45 years of experience gives Exodus Travels the ultimate edge in adventure travel gap years; especially as they now offer an extraordinary 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries! The possibilities for action and adventure are equally as endless, such as walking and cycling tours, wildlife encounters, and more.

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So there you have it! We hope this has given you an appetising taster of the gap year opportunities available out there for you to choose from. We know travelling isn’t particularly cheap though; one of the ways you can make extra money to  bolster for your budget for the adventure ahead is by taking part in paid market research. If this is something you’d be interested in, do get in touch and we’ll help you get started!

legit market research companies

What to expect from a UX testing study

UX testing – otherwise known as user testing, usability testing and/or user experience testing – probably sounds a little tech-y to the non-tuned ear. However, it’s actually just a simple (though super-important) market research method researchers use to understand what consumers do, and why they do it.

This means researchers can really sink their teeth into how good or bad a user’s experience is of a website or app and find ways of making this experience as enjoyable as possible. This way, brands can be sure consumers will return to them time and time again, rather than diverting to their competitors.

Of course, none of this can happen without users to test the brand’s websites and apps out in the first place – which is where you come in! So without further ado, here’s the low-down on what you can expect once you’re set to take part in a UX testing study.

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What will happen on the day?

You’ll be asked to take on a few tasks on the app or website and be observed either by a researcher, or through a recording of your activity via specialist software. Don’t worry, it’s not a test of your ability – it’s just to see what your likes and dislikes are, how easy you find their site or app to use, and whether you stick around or end up looking at competitors websites/apps instead. 

This way, brands can work out what they need to do to make the experience more suitable and enjoyable for you! Due to our increased online presence and the significance of user satisfaction in business success, this process really is more important than ever before.

How long will the UX testing study last?

When using a website or app in an everyday setting, it usually doesn’t take the average consumer long to achieve their desired outcome(s) and move on – probably a few minutes tops. 

With a UX testing study however, businesses and researchers really want to explore how you behave on/interact with their website or app, so the tasks they set you mean you’ll be there significantly longer; typically, around 30-60 minutes.

In some cases, you may be asked to come to a specific location (though it’ll never be too far away), in which case you’ll want to factor in some extra time for travel. However, you might have the opportunity to take part remotely – who knows, you could be making a valuable contribution to businesses and brands without even needing to get out of your PJs! 

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What’s in it for me?

In our increasingly on-the-go world, businesses and brands know just how precious your time is, so they’re always grateful to you sharing for sharing it with them – in fact, you can make money from UX testing! As a thank you, you could earn between £10 and £50 for your contribution – depending on the length and complexity of the study – in the form of money, vouchers, a cheque, or a bank transfer. 

It’s not all about the money, however (thank you, Jessie J!); it’s also a great opportunity to potentially lend a hand to some of your favourite brands and businesses and help them grow. Got a favourite clothing line but struggle to use their website? You could help to change that for the better whilst getting the chance to have your voice heard!

So should I take part?

Absolutely! It’s a fun and educational opportunity to express your thoughts whilst helping businesses to grow – and as we’ve said, you can make money from UX testing! So it truly is an endeavour that leaves smiles all around. If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved in, simply sign up below and we’ll get you started.

Sign Up Here.

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Top trips for the family this half-term

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and it’s most definitely getting colder. Yep, summer is well and truly over for another year. And, as kids across the country put on their shiny new shoes and sharpen their pencils ready for the new school year, before you even know it the October half term will roll around again. So, to ensure you make the most of the October break for your family this year, why not earn some extra spending money and get paid to do market research? It’ll come in handy! To make certain you enjoy this half-term, we’ve put together some of our favourite family-friendly trips to keep everyone happy.

Indoor snow sports

Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, sledging or even ice skating, there’s something for everyone  at an indoor snow centre! From taking lessons to prepare for your winter skiing holiday, to showing off your skills on the slopes, enjoying some family sledging fun or making snow angels at a Snow-play session, there are a huge range of exciting activities available for all abilities and ages. Check out The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, The Snow Dome in Tamworth or Snozone in Milton Keynes for more info.

Kidtropolis

A fantastic event for families with children aged 12 and under, Kidtroplis is a kids paradise with live shows, adventure-filled activities and unmissable entertainment all in one place. There’s inflatable assault courses, Bumper Carz and Mess Around messy play – and the best part? Because the whole event is indoors it’s the perfect activity whatever the British weather has in store. Kidtropolis takes place at ExCeL London from 20-22nd October and you can book tickets in advance here for the best deal.

The Great British Autumn

From 20th October – 4th November, Longleat Safari Park is hosting The Great British Autumn. Celebrating – yep, you guessed it – all things autumn and British wildlife, there’re tons of exciting activities on offer for all the family, from arts and crafts to pumpkin carving and even mini tractor rides! Entry to the event and all the activities on offer are included in your day ticket or annual pass, and you can save up to 15% by booking online. Check it out here.

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Stratford-upon-Avon hosts its annual Halloween Festival throughout all of October. It’s held in Magic Alley on Halloween Street, and this year’s spooktacular event is set to be the best yet. There are activities for the whole family as well as plenty of wizarding history and quirky quizzes. You can even pay a visit to the Haunted Manor for an unforgettably spooky experience! Tickets start at just £7 and under twos go free – check out their website for more info!

RSPB Events

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds host events across the country throughout the year, giving kids a chance to learn all about nature by taking part in hands-on activities and fun games. From stargazing parties to family festivals in the woods, feed the bird weekends to quiz trails, RSPB offers a whole host of activities that are both educational and super fun. Have a look at the website to discover events taking place near you.

Pumpkin Picking

At this time of year, there’s nothing more festive than picking your own pumpkin. It’s a great day out for the whole family, and it beats buying a pumpkin from the supermarket! One of the country’s best pumpkin picking patches is the Spookyard at Over Farm in Gloucestershire. Activities include picking and carving your own pumpkin, finding your way through the spooky maze and tractor rides for all ages. At night it turns into the Frightmare Halloween Festival which is perfect for those who fancy something a bit scarier. Book your tickets in advance here.

National Trust

During October half-term, the National Trust hold different events for families. From conker battles to bat trails, boat trips to spotting scarecrows, there’s lots to do and see at various locations this autumn. Check out their website to find a fun event near you.

So there you have it – our top picks of fun activities for all the family this October half term. And, don’t forget, if you fancy making a bit of extra cash to make this half term even more special, why not sign up and get paid to do market research with Angelfish Opinions?

Sign Up Here.

How to get paid for market research

Our top FAQs from people who take part in paid market research

Taking part in market research is a fantastic way to let brands know your thoughts and opinions on their products and services –  it’s great fun and a chance to meet new people, too! But that’s not all: paid market research is also an excellent way to earn a bit of extra cash that you can easily fit in around your work or family commitments. If you’d like to find out how to get paid for market research, or would like to learn a little bit more about it before you sign up, read on for our top FAQs…

What will you do with my information?

Here at Angelfish, your privacy is incredibly important to us and we will do everything in our power to protect. We’re members of the Market Research Society and strictly adhere to their codes of conduct which include the Data Protection Act 1998. And don’t worry, we also never sell or pass on information to third parties. If you’d like to find out more, have a read of our Privacy Policy which explains how we process and handle your information in detail.

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What will the research be used for?

Market research is used for a number of different things from one study to the next, but in general the results of market research are used to influence things such as branding, market positioning and to improve customer experiences. If you do decide to take part in paid market research with us, we always give our participants as much info as possible about the study and will always ask for your consent when it comes to things such as using research for advertising purposes.

Will I be paid?

Yes, when taking part in market research with Angelfish you will always receive an incentive to show you how grateful we are for your time. Incentives vary depending on the study you are taking part in, but can be in the form of cash, cheque, bank transfer of gift vouchers. We’ll let you know as soon as possible what the incentive will be and when you will receive it, whether it be cash on the day, a cheque or bank transfer or a gift certificate (which can take up to three weeks).

Can I refer a friend to take part?

Absolutely! In fact, by participating in our refer a friend scheme you could earn up to £20 in Amazon gift certificates if they successfully take part. All you have to do is tell your friends and family about a specific Angelfish project and ask them to give your name and email address when they sign up – it’s that simple! For more information, check out our Facebook page!

If you have any other questions about taking part in market research, our friendly team will be more than happy to help. Just send an email to info@angelfish-opinions.com or call us on 01242 240849 and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

Ready to start making waves with your opinion? Start getting your voice heard!

Sign Up Here.

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Real life examples of paid market research

Taking part in paid market research for the first time can be a bit daunting if you don’t know what to expect. However, there are two important things to remember: firstly, your opinions are really valuable to brands – and secondly, market research is great fun!

If you’re thinking about taking part in a market research study, we thought we’d share some real-life examples from a few of our respondents who have taken part in market research with Angelfish Opinions.

From their initial preconceptions to their overall experience, what they gained from taking part and the types of projects they completed, it’s all here. Read on to see for yourself what taking part in paid market research is really like!

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It’s the taking part that counts!

So how did our participants really find taking part in market research? Well, one participant said that taking part in the project showed them that companies really do care about the thoughts of their customers, whilst another was worried beforehand that he might be a bit embarrassed to open up but that on the day everyone was really friendly and interested in what they had to say. Despite not knowing each other before the project, another respondent felt that nobody was afraid to share their opinions and that she really enjoyed the relaxed nature of the study.

Not all market research projects are location-based such as focus groups or assisted shops, though. We also carry out research such as online communities, user experience testing and even in-home interviews where participants can join in from the comfort of their own home. This is something that one of our recent respondents found really convenient as it meant they could look after their family alongside the research, and they also said that their allocated researcher was really friendly and easy to talk to online too.

Examples of our recent projects

Still not convinced? Here’s a few real-life examples of some of the projects we’ve recently completed for a variety of different clients to tickle your fancy. We’ve got a huge variety of clients ranging from a vegan food brand to a tech giant:

Project one – technology giant
This project looked at internet browsing behaviours and involved participants spending 20-30 minutes each day for a total of 10 days taking part in a market research online community. They completed a variety of different tasks, including recording video content of themselves whilst browsing the internet as well as responding to written activities and uploading photos and videos in relation to their shopping experiences.

Project two – vegan food brand
For this project, participants were required to spend 15 minutes per day for a total of 12 days as part of this market research online community. There were a variety of tasks set, including written responses, photos and videos, and participants were also sent a product to test and review mid-way through the online community too.

Project three – large homeware brand
For this particular project, participants were required to complete a 14-day online blog. Tasks throughout included written, photo and video responses about their home such as photographing items in their home that they liked/disliked, screenshotting where they get their home inspiration, video tours of each room, and photos of family and pets doing different activities to bring their home to life.

Real-life feedback

See, we told you paid market research was good fun! If you still don’t believe us, then have a peek at what our participants themselves have to say…

“I would say to any of my family and friends, go for it! Everyone is really friendly, starting from the recruiters to the people on the day – and at the end, you end up with more money in your pocket too!” – A participant from a study on beverages

“Great website, app and moderator. I thought the questions were interesting the overall estimate regarding the time it would take to complete every day was spot on!” – Respondent from a study on health and fitness

“Best evening out in a long time! It felt like hanging out with a group of friends which made it easy to open up, and being able to go to the store was a brilliant touch as well. Without a doubt, it was the best research experience I have ever done – and the foodie bag at the end was a lovely surprise too!” – Participant from a study on fashion

Conclusion

Although taking part in paid market research isn’t for everyone, we hope that hearing about other people’s experiences and the type of studies you could take part in has removed some of the fear of the unknown. As you can see from our respondent feedback, there are tons of benefits to be had from taking part – as well as the obvious financial gain!

So, what are you waiting for? If you’re interested in trying something new and taking part in paid market research, sign up to our panel today and get involved!

Sign Up Here.

data

What will happen with my information when I take part in paid market research?

More people are now aware of what is happening with their data, where it is stored and how it is being used. More questions are being asked about data protection and privacy and quite rightly too: it’s something that we take very seriously as a company providing paid market research.

We’ve put together this blog to explain what happens to the information you provide us with when you take part in paid market research.

Your data: what do we have and why?

As a market research company, we have always had to be good at data collection and protection. We only ever collect the data we need, but because at times our clients have very specific criteria we can end up with a comprehensive picture of someone. For example, in addition to the usual contact details of address, email and phone number, we might also need to collect information on someone’s income and bank details (so we can pay them).

How do we collect your data?

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On any given project we will initially we collect data via an online questionnaire. These can often be quite in-depth because it’s important for us to ensure that you meet the criteria set by our clients. Once we’ve established that you meet the initial criteria we will follow up with a phone call to ask you a few more questions.

What do we do with your data?

The information you give us is important because it determines your eligibility for the study – our clients often want to speak to a very specific person. But we know your information really matters to you too, so we have very strict policies on keeping it safe and only using it in ways you know about and are happy with, including stopping contacting you if at any point you no longer wish to hear from us. You can read more about that in our privacy policy here.

You can rest assured that:

  •      We will only ever hold detailed information on you for the duration of the study.
  •      We treat your data in the strictest of confidences and comply with all GDPR regulations.

If you would like to take part in paid market research you can sign up to Angelfish here.

Sign Up Here.